Can Percodan Affect My Memory?

Can Percodan Affect My Memory?Percodan is a combination of the opioid pain reliever oxycodone and aspirin. In medical practice, Percodan has largely been replaced in recent years in favor of other oxycodone preparations that contain acetaminophen instead of aspirin since aspirin can be hard on the stomach and also tends to inhibit blood clotting, which may lead to post-operative complications, such as excessive bleeding.

Medications based on oxycodone are also often bypassed in favor of medications based on hydrocodone, which is nearly as potent as oxycodone but is not as strictly regulated.

Percodan and Memory Impairment

Impaired memory is listed as a possible but uncommon side effect of oxycodone use, affecting less than one user out of 100.

Memory impairment has been reported by some people who use oxycodone, including rare but serious cases of a memory disorder known as deja vecu. Others have reported interference with short-term memory and difficulty retaining what has been read or following directions. However, this is a relatively rare side effect.

Using an oxycodone-based medication, such as Percodan, can in itself cause impaired memory in some cases; however, memory impairment associated with oxycodone use can be related to a number of other causes or combination of factors. Medical conditions that can contribute to impaired memory include the following:

  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • High cholesterol

For example, impaired memory is sometimes reported in cases of depression; a depressed individual who is already at risk for impaired memory may further increase the risk of suffering from impaired memory by taking oxycodone. Taking large doses of oxycodone in order to get high can increase this risk even further.

Statistical Evidence of Impaired Memory Related to Oxycodone Use

A study based on FDA reports found that a small percentage of oxycodone users experience problems with memory while using the drug. The study produced the following results:

  • The study included 24,018 patients taking oxycodone; 538 of these patients, or 2.24 percent, experienced impaired memory.
  • Females seem to experience impaired memory due to oxycodone use more often than males; 64.37 percent of those studied who suffered impaired memory were females while 35.63 percent were males.
  • Older people seem to suffer impaired memory more frequently; the percentages of those experiencing impaired memory while on oxycodone increased with the test subjects’ ages. In the study, 0.43 percent were ages 10 to 19, 3.9 percent were ages 20 to 29, 7.36 percent were ages 30 to 39, 19.48 percent were ages 40 to 49, 35.93 percent were ages 50 to 59 and 32.9 percent were 60 years of age or older. Of course, other variables may account for some of this discrepancy. For instance, it may be that a larger percentage of those studied were in the 50 to 59 year old age range as this demographic consists of people who often require pain medication for surgery or accidental injury. Older people typically take multiple medications as well, and medication interactions may explain some cases of impaired memory. Also, of course, impaired memory is associated with aging.

This study suggests oxycodone use is related to memory impairment, but only in a small number of users.

Treating Percodan Addiction

Oxycodone is an effective treatment for pain, but its use is not without risks, including the unlikely but real possibility of experiencing impaired memory. If you experience impaired memory while taking Percodan, be sure to tell your doctor. He or she may try an alternative pain medication or check for other possible causes.

If you are addicted to or dependent on Percodan, seek treatment immediately. For help finding treatment for Percodan addiction, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline.